In effort to combat oil theft and checkmate the activities of economic sabotours in the Niger Delta Region, the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe has, in the last 3 days intensified its air operations, destroying 6 Illegal Refining Sites and 5 Cotonou Boats in Rivers State. On 12 November 2023, intelligence received revealed the sighting of 3 active Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) and 2 Cotonou Boats siphoning crude oil from pipelines at Cawthorne Channel and Alakri in Rivers State. The IRS and boats were subsequently engaged and destroyed. Similar strikes were also carried out at Krakama in Rivers State, on the same day, on 3 Cotonou Boats sighted conveying suspected illegal refined products. On 13 November 2023, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft also struck some sites at Dariama Village in Rivers State following intelligence report of illegal refining activities near the location. On arrival, 3 IRS with tanks, pipes and pumping machines as well as Cotonou Boats loaded with suspected illegally refined products were sighted, engaged and subsequently destroyed.
The intensified air operations should be seen as proactive measures to safeguard the economic interests of the nation and deter criminal elements involved in oil theft. The NAF, alongside sister Services and other security agencies, remains committed in its efforts at securing vital government resources and infrastructures in the Niger Delta Region and beyond.